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tinyfaery's avatar

Californians: What is wrong with Prop.7?

Asked by tinyfaery (36168 points ) November 2nd, 2008

There is so much negative press surrounding this proposition. It seems everyone is opposed. I don’t get it. I’ve read the voter guide info, and I can’t see what ll the hub-bub is about; it sounds like a good idea to me. Can someone explain it to me in basic terms, with as little bias as possible. It’s one of the few props. that I am still unsure about.

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13 Answers

sferik's avatar

The main criticism that I’ve seen levied against Proposition 7 that it is too focused on creating giant solar power plants in the desert. The environmental groups opposing the proposition (including the Sierra Club, NRDC, Environmental Defense, and the League of Conservation Voters) believe it would be better to invest in local projects, which are more efficient and environmentally sound.

AstroChuck's avatar

Exactly. It ties us down and stifles other promising environmental projects. It’s opposed by the democratic party as well as labor and most environmental organizations.

wrestlemaniac3's avatar

what the hell is prop 7?

tinyfaery's avatar

Doesn’t it mean something to you that the major opponents of the bill are huge power companies? Does the language specifically say that money would go to specific projects (power plants in the desert)? Or is it just the fact that it sets a timetable on reducing our dependence on fossil fuels?

irondavy's avatar

While it’s true that major power companies are against Prop 7 (and certainly my knee-jerk reaction is to vote against power companies), also check out the list of environmental groups against it:

California League of Conservation Voters
Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies
Coalition for Clean Air
Environment California
Environmental Defense Fund
Natural Resources Defense Council
Sierra Club California
Union of Concerned Scientists

The huge list of solar and wind companies that you would expect to like it are actually against it. That’s a good indicator of how messy it is.

tinyfaery's avatar

But why be against a prop that actually mandates a change in the way we develop and use energy. Isn’t this good?

sferik's avatar

It is good.

But it also costs the state (read: you, the taxpayer) a lot of money, which could be better spent on local renewable energy projects. By supporting this, you’re basically saying that you think solar arrays in the middle of the dessert should be the solution to California’s energy problems. If this proposition passes, there will be little political or economic capital remaining for other renewable energy proposals.

@wrestlemaniac3: California Proposition 7 would require California utilities to procure half of their power from renewable resources by 2025.

wrestlemaniac3's avatar

looks like a good thing

AstroChuck's avatar

Don’t be fooled. I vote green and this proposition passage would be counter-productive.

sferik's avatar

Note that current state laws requires California utilities to get 20 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2010. Californians have 2 years to figure out what should be required of the utilities thereafter.

Personally, I’d rather see a proposition with a shorter time window (say, 30 percent by 2015) that doesn’t leave out startup wind and solar companies.

tinyfaery's avatar

Okay. That makes sense. I’m just getting tired of not passing bills because there could be something better. Better never seems to come around.

irondavy's avatar

@tinyfaery I completely agree with you. I feel like every year we have to vote on at least a half dozen propositions that address a real problem with a mediocre solution. See also this year: 10 and 11.

Not to mention any of the other 22 (!) propositions us San Franciscans have to vote on.

osakarob's avatar

I would like to thank Tinyfaery for posting this question and for all of you who so convincingly answered it. Because of the discussion here, I will change the way I was going to vote.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure about the merits or demerits of the plan as I just moved to CA a couple of months ago. Like Tinyfaery, I just figured that it sounded like a decent idea, but didn’t really invest the time or mental capital to find out the details.

Thank you all for clearly articulating why it is bad.
Your unemotional, rational and simple explanation is enough to persuade me to vote against it.

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